Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Pairing: Katie Ashley

The Pairing 
A companion novel to The Propostion and The Proposal
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Released February 18, 2014
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After her former boyfriend left her pregnant and alone, Megan McKenzie swore off men. She spent the last eighteen months focused solely on her son, Mason, along with finishing nursing school at the top of her class. Although she’s not ready to complicate her life with a long-term relationship, a nice no-strings attached hook-up is just what she needs. At her godson, Noah’s, baptism, she finds the perfect candidate in the soft-spoken godfather, Pesh Nadeen. After all, the widower could use a good time too. But after drinking too much, the night doesn’t end the way she thought it would. Forced to leave Pesh’s house through a walk of shame, Megan hopes to never, ever see him again. 

For Pesh Nadeen, the very sight of Megan sends him into an emotional tailspin. Since she reminds him too much of what he has lost, he wants to be out of her sight…at first. But the more he gets to know her, there's something about the diminutive blonde that causes his protective side to go into overdrive, and he finds himself wanting more. When Megan is assigned to work in his ER to complete her nursing clinicals, he sees it as fate, but she’s having no part of it. She only wants a physical relationship while he wants far more. 

What happens next is a sexy game of cat and mouse to see who will break first or if both of them will eventually get more than they ever bargained for.

After swiping his key card, he entered the room. When he closed the door behind him, Megan turned around, gazing expectantly at him. Now that he was in front of her, he didn’t know exactly what to say. He had been on an emotional overload on the roof, and things had escalated far too quickly. “Look, I just want to say how very sorry I am about kissing you.”
“Well I’m not,” she replied matter-of-factly.
Pesh’s neck snapped back in shock. Her response wasn’t what he was expecting at all. He had imagined she might be relieved or even embarrassed, but he hadn’t imagined that she would be unregretful. He cleared his throat. “Regardless, I shouldn’t have done it. I was in an emotionally vulnerable position, and you were merely trying to comfort me. Nothing more.” His words were more for his own good than hers.
She shook her head. “Just because I was comforting you, doesn’t mean I didn’t want you to kiss me. That I still don’t want to kiss you again.”
His brows furrowed in confusion. “But you—”
“Pesh, I’ve wanted you since the night of Noah’s baptism. But you shot me down then, and you still do.”
Although his heart wanted to soar at her admission of wanting him, the reality of her words caused his chest to clench instead. “Sexually. You only want me sexually.”
He should have been flattered that a young, sexy woman like Megan desired him. But he wasn’t. Half of the women in the hospital would be willing for him to drag them to an empty patient’s room for a quick and dirty screw. But that’s not who he was. He had never been that way with women, and he didn’t see how it could be possible to change. All he wanted was for her to really see him and how good he could be for her. How good they would be for each other. He thought that was what she was feeling in the moments before and after he kissed her. But now it seemed it was once again only lust.
Although it was probably pointless, he couldn’t help putting everything out there once again. “But when we were up on the roof, there wasn’t a moment where you wanted more from me than just sex?” He licked his lips and took a step toward her. “Just a second where you could imagine your life with me in it?”
Megan stared at him, her expression contemplative. For a brief moment, Pesh thought by her hesitation that she had changed her mind about him. But then she shook her head. “How many times are you going to make me hurt you with this? You’re too good for me, Pesh. We both know that. I’ll remind you again of some of the reasons I’m not the one for you. I’m twenty-five, and you’re thirty-seven. You want a wife, and I’m not ready to be married.”
Her words cut into his chest the same as if she had taken a sharp blade to him. She may have had to repeat herself this time, but he realized the finality of her words. And then an idea hit him so hard that he shuddered—a true light bulb moment and epiphany. There was only one way he was going to get to have his sweet Megan, and that was if he gave in to her. He would have to become someone else for her, even if it was just for a little while. He could distract her with sex that she both desired and demanded, but at the same time, he would make her fall in love with him. It could work. It had to.
Cocking his head at her, he questioned, “So let me get this straight once and for all. You would let me…”
 He paused, fighting the conflict within himself to say what he needed to. He drew in a ragged breath. “You would let me fuck you but not love you?”
Her eyes widened at his word choice. “What’s gotten into you?”
He shrugged nonchalantly, feeling slightly empowered in the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde moment. “I merely asked a simple question.”
She snorted exasperatedly. “Yeah, about…” She swallowed hard. “Fucking, of all things.”
Megan shook her head wildly back and forth. “I can barely acknowledge hearing you say the word, least of all you doing that.”
“You can’t imagine me—”
She held up her hand. “You’re not the type of man to fuck,” she countered.
Crossing his arms over his chest, he countered, “Oh really? I’m too nice of a guy?”
“Something like that.”
“I am a man, Megan. We all have needs. Isn’t fucking one of them?”
Her body trembled slightly at his words. She licked her lips before replying, “S-Stop saying that word—it isn’t you.”
“So, fucking isn’t me? Don’t tell me you think I’m totally asexual—that you can’t imagine me fucking a woman…fucking you.” He eased in closer to her. “We both know for a fact that you wanted nothing more than to fuck me the night of Noah’s baptism. Given the chance right now, you’d let me strip off your scrubs and fuck you up against the medicine cabinet.”
As her chest heaved up and down, she took a step back from him, bumping against the counter. “But you don’t say things like that. You’re refined. You’re a gentleman,” she whispered.
“It may have been a while, but even a gentleman like me enjoys fucking.” He closed the gap between them.
“What are you doing?” she whispered.
“I’m giving you what you want.”
“You’re giving in?”


Pesh Nadeen...McDreamy Bollywood...I have to admit that I had some displaced anger at him and did not like him very much  in The Proposal (I was justified as he was in  the way of Aidan's way), but I came to like him more by the end of that book and even more so in Beat of the Heart.

And now in The Pairing, he has officially won me over and I adore him! He is such a gentleman and so honorable. But is also strong, funny, flirty, sexy, and magnetic. He has such a presence about him, but is also so genuine and caring. He has lost his wife and has been lonely. He has thrown himself into his work to compensate. But he would like to find a new relationship and have a family someday. 

Megan is Aidan's twenty-five year old niece. She is a single mother to a fifteen month old boy, Mason and a nursing student. She has been burned by love, has trust issues, has a lot on her plate. She is not looking for a relationship or love, but would gladly take some sexual fun and orgasms. She is independent minded, snarky, stubborn, and overwhelmed with life. 

They are thrust together as Noah's Godparents and the party leads to a drunken night for Megan that goes horribly wrong. Their chemistry is strong, but their motivations and ideals are very different. She is mortified and hopes she does not have to see him again. But their lies cross once again when she ends up doing her nursing clinical in the same ER he runs. 

Pesh is multi-faceted...he is a gentleman, but sexy; sweet, but dominant; protective, but vulnerable; virile, but romantic. He has suffered a significant loss in the past that has kept him from moving on...until now. He knows what he wants and needs, and knows he can give Megan what she needs even when she does not realize it. 

“Don’t try to pin me as one thing or the other. Just take me as I am...” ~Pesh 

Pesh is truly interested in Megan. He wants her for more than a casual fling. But she is stubborn. He is determined. He pushes for more, she pulls back, she pushes her wants, he pushes back. It is a game of cat and mouse that they are both determined to win. But he is hard to resist and he slowly pushes her to the point where she is willing to compromise. Pesh makes a deal that Megan cannot refuse and Pesh is willing to take the chance that he can win her over. 

“I’d be anything and everything you wanted me to be, if you would give me the chance.”

“While you may only want sex from me, I want far more from you. I want your time, but I also want you to understand that you’re worthy of something special. And if it takes planes and fancy meals to prove it to you, then I’m going to do it.”

I really liked these two together. They seem to provide just what the other needs and their lives fit together very well. They have excellent chemistry and passion. Megan is younger but mature due to being a mother. And even though Pesh is older and more refined, he is still fun and adventurous. And Holy Moly who knew Pesh was so freakin' hot and sexy? Under that gentlemanly facade is one very sensual, alpha man. 

“A good spanking, some handcuffs, and a blindfold all have possibilities. As far as all that other stuff?...If one truly knows how to fuck, you don’t need any accessories and embellishments.”

But there are obstacles. He is a resident and she is a student. If they screw it up, they could form a rift that could effect work and their relationships with Emma, Aidan, and baby Noah. She has a young son to protect. It is a big risk especially considering their past losses and issues. 

Just like the other books in this series, this one had me laughing out loud. I loved getting more of Aidan and Emma's story. Almost every scene with Aidan had me cracking me up. And we got to hang with Emma's crazy friends Casey and Connor, and the whole wild Fitzgerald clan. It is so much fun to see the feisty interactions, the teasing, the taunting, and the humorous situations. And I enjoyed getting to know Pesh's equally interesting Indian family as well. And some of the interactions with the young children in the story just made my heart melt.

It was also emotional, sweet, sexy, and  romantic. Although there was some drama and angst, it did not take over the story. Pesh turned out to be an absolutely swoon worthy hero and I actually felt guilty that I thought so poorly of him in the beginning. This book exceeded my expectations. I loved getting to see into the future with these two couples. I really enjoyed Pesh and Megan's story. This was quite a journey from where they started and I enjoyed every bit of it. 

Thanks to Katie Ashley for providing me with a beta copy in exchange for an honest review. 

The Pairing kept a smile plastered to my face the entire time I was reading it. In the tradition of The Proposition, The Proposal and The Party, it was funny, sweet, classic and smooth.

When Pesh and Megan are introduced at their godson’s baptism, both are immediately interested in the other. They hit it off and spend much of that day getting to know each other

Pesh is a pretty serious guy as far as dating goes. He’s not after casual hook-ups or relationships where emotions aren’t involved, though he could have his pick of the women he works with. He hasn’t dated much since the death of his wife 2 years previously, but is starting to think it may be time to start looking for another partner again, even as that thought brings pain.

Megan is only looking for sex. After the birth of her son 15 months before, she hasn’t dated, let alone had sex. And she’s looking for something easy and casual, especially because her time is taken up with nursing school and her toddler. She finds herself attracted to Pesh, but afraid of more and thinks she isn’t after a serious relationship.

The teasing and light nature between Pesh and Megan was sweet to watch develop and grow. They had some smokin’ scenes, as well as touching ones. I loved watching as each character set the other off-balance, especially as they worked to find their footing together. Megan had a tendency to try to fit Pesh into a label -- gentleman, refined, polished, and it was so much fun to watch him prove the exceptions to the rules of all her labels.

The families certainly help make this a fun read. The Fitzgerald family with their close ties and Patrick’s penchant for playing matchmaker is back and up to their usual meddling. We meet more of Pesh’s family through the story, and watching their interactions is different, but no less chaotic than those of the Fitzgeralds. I had forgotten that Dev and Pesh were involved in the storyline of Beat of the Heart, so being reminded of that connection was a fun inclusion.

This was a fast read, even for me, but it was such a sweet view back into this world. Because Aidan had such a soft spot for Megan, as readers we developed the same interest in her and I was so glad to get to read her story. And Pesh? It broke my heart to watch his pain in The Proposal, so seeing him again and having him find happiness was perfect.

Thanks to Katie Ashley for providing me with a beta copy in exchange for an honest review. 

The Proposition (book 1)
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Kim's 4.5 star review

With her thirtieth birthday looming, Emma Harrison finds her biological clock clanging and the elusive knight in shining armor yet to appear. She’s running out of options, especially after her gay best friend backs out from being her sperm donor. Of course, there’s always a sperm bank, but Emma fears a donor mix-up might impregnate her with the spawn of Satan.

Resident company womanizer, Aidan Fitzgerald, is used to always getting what he wants, especially in the bedroom. When Emma spurns his advances at the company Christmas party, he's determined to have her no matter what it takes. After Aidan learns of Emma's predicament, he is quick to offer a proposition that will benefit them both. He will father Emma's child, but she must conceive it with him naturally. Not one for hook-ups or casual sex, Emma is reluctant to take him up on his offer, but his charm, coupled with her intense desire for motherhood, wins out.

Soon their baby-making sessions become more than just physical. Aidan can't seem to walk away from her while Emma begins to wonder if Aidan could be the one. But can Aidan leave his past behind to become the man Emma needs him to be?

See Katie Ashley's blog post talking about the one year anniversary of The Proposal.

The Proposal (book 2)
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In the weeks following Aidan’s betrayal, Emma has tried her best to move on. Ignoring his countless texts, voice mails, and flowers, she isn’t sure she wants to be won back by him. But Aidan isn’t going down without a fight—especially not until Emma lets him reveal the secret of his past that caused him to be so commitment phobic.

But fate intervenes when premature labor forces Emma on strict bed rest for two weeks. Aidan steps forward with a shocking proposal. To prove his love and commitment for her and their unborn son, he will take a leave of absence from work to care for her around the clock. Vowing to guard her heart, Emma reluctantly agrees.

While she is touched by Aidan’s attentiveness and tender loving care, Emma is thrown for a loop by the amorous attentions of ER doctor, Alpesh “Pesh” Nadeen. Pesh is everything Emma could ever want—successful, stable, and ready to settle down and be a husband and father. Pesh wants nothing more than to win Emma’s heart, but she is not sure she’s able to give it.

Her heart may still belong to the very man who broke it—the one who is so desperately trying to win her back.

The Party (prequel novella .5)
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Coming off a break-up with his latest “friend with benefits”, the last thing Aidan Fitzgerald needs is a family hassle about his bachelor status. But after standing up as godfather for his great-nephew, Mason, that’s just what he gets at the Christening Party. Escaping the wrath of his father and sisters, he wants nothing more than to get to the company Christmas party. There he knows he can knock back a few stiff drinks and find some new no-strings-attached girl to take home for the night.

The last thing Emma Harrison wants is to attend another party—least of all one at work. After throwing the annual life celebration (for the anniversary of her fiancĂ©e’s death) with close friends, she’s finally gotten the courage to take matters into her own hands and become a mother. Convincing her slightly inebriated best-friend, Connor, to be her sperm donor was a lot easier than she thought, and all that’s left now is to start the process. But at her best friend and work colleague, Casey’s, insistence, she decides to make an appearance at the company Christmas party for her new boss’s sake.

Neither Aidan nor Emma could imagine what fate had in store for them at the party.

Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.

She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English  until she left to write full time in December 2012.

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